Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a form of hormone treatment that looks to enhance the production of estrogen, progesterone or testosterone depending on the patient’s needs. It is used on both sexes but for the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on the female aspect. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is generally used by women as they reach the age of menopause and look to combat the symptoms that plague them once their body experiences a hormonal imbalance.
What is BHRT?
BHRT was first used way back in the 1930s in a product called ‘Emmenim’ which was sold to relieve the symptoms of menopause. Bio-identical hormones are created in a lab and have the same molecular structure as hormones naturally created by the human body. These are different to synthetic hormones which are deliberately made to be different so the creator can patent the formula. These organizations are not allowed patent bio-identical hormones which is why they create the synthetic version.
Advantages over Synthetic Hormones
Makers of bio-identical hormones say that their products are taken from plant chemicals and not synthesized in a lab. However, it is still necessary for these companies to commercially process the product to make it bio-identical. It is important to note that the numerous brand versions on sale have a one-size-fits-all dosage level which makes them similar to synthetic hormone practice.
The best bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is one that is tailor-made to suit your needs. This process begins by testing your hormone levels and this figure is used to decide upon the exact dosage of estrogen, progesterone or testosterone you need. Organizations that provide this service will also monitor your progress to ensure relief from existing symptoms is achieved using the lowest possible dose.
Synthetic hormone therapy is riddled with problems including the fact that users often suffer severe side effects. In contrast, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is ‘natural’ which means the body has the ability to metabolize the hormones thus reducing side effects. As we mentioned above, synthetic hormones follow a standard dosage which may not be suitable for your needs.
Although bio-identical hormones have only been researched since the 1980s and there is little in the way of long-term research which proves it is safe, we do know that women with hormonal imbalances suffer terribly and we also know that synthetic hormones can increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses. Therefore, women may turn towards BHRT to help relieve hormonal imbalances simply because it is better than the alternatives.